Dogs running loose are not allowed throughout the county. There is a county-wide leash law enforced, including the City of Wilmington.
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Animals surrendered at the shelter or picked up in the field as strays are held at our facility for three or five working days, Sundays and Holidays are not included.
The animals are held three working days, if the animal had no apparent owner.
The animals are held five working days if the animal seems to have had an owner, for example, a neutered male, a collar, recently clipped, etc.
Animals surrendered by the owner become the immediate property of NHC.
After the holding period, during which time the owner may redeem their pet, the animals become NHC property. At this point, shelter staff determines which ones may be placed for adoption.
The animals are given a physical exam, vaccinated, dewormed, and checked for open wounds, which may have been inflicted by a potential rabies vector.
The ones who are adoptable are placed in our adoption area (no specified time limit), awaiting a new home. Unfortunately, far more animals are surrendered for placement than those seeking new companions.
County ordinance requires that all stray animals be surrendered to ASU within 24 hours of capture. If the individual desires to keep the pet, they may advertise in the local newspaper with the largest circulation for five consecutive days. This advertisement must be started within 72 hours of claiming the pet. If the initial owner does not claim their pet after ten days, the individual who placed the advertisement shall be deemed the legal owner.
Yes, between the hours of 11 am to 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday and Saturday 8 to Noon. The adoption fee is $60, which includes pet neutering (mandatory), vaccinations including rabies (dog or cat), deworming for hooks and rounds, and a collar and a leash/cat-box. See the Pet Harbor website to view available pets.
The first vaccination is done when your pet reaches four months of age. This vaccination is good for one year. The next vaccination given is will be good for three years. You are required by NC State law to have this done, even if your pet never goes outside. You are also required by NHC Ordinance to pay a licensing fee every year. This fee is renewable along with your rabies vaccination. Kennel fees are available if you meet the stipulations.
ASU has jurisdiction throughout New Hanover County, excluding Wrightsville Beach. Wilmington residents fall under the ordinance as well as county residents. We do assist Wrightsville Beach in certain cases.
No restrictions on county residence. Residence within city limits refer to Chapter 6 section 2.2 (permits for kennels/meaning 5 or more dogs). View the Municode Website to learn more.
Your pet will need to be quarantined for ten days, because no vaccine is 100% effective. This is done for the victim's protection, to allow ASU personnel to monitor the animal for symptoms of rabies.
Pets with a current rabies vaccination at the time of the bite may be confined at their home, if a suitable area is available. An Animal Services Officer will periodically check the pet until the confinement is over.
Pets without a current rabies vaccination at the time of the bite must be confined at ASU, a veterinary hospital, or an approved kennel. (Owner must pay all kenneling fees.)
Pets running loose at the time of the bite must be confined at ASU, a veterinary hospital, or an approved kennel, regardless of rabies vaccination status. (Owner must pay all kenneling fees.)
Although cats are more difficult to keep contained than most dogs; they fall under the same ordinance restrictions as dogs. Responsible pet owners find appropriate methods to protect their pet’s welfare.
It is a violation of the county ordinance to keep your pet tied out in your yard.
There are three criteria that a dog may be declared under the law:
Victims and dog owners should inquire at the office to complete paperwork for the Initial Panel to review in these determinations.
ASU is a government agency for NHC. We have officers that are available to respond to customer complaints, even in emergency situations. We are required to accept all animals surrendered by NHC residents.
The Humane Society is a private group that operates an animal shelter and a public regional spay/neuter facility. They have the right to refuse animals, since they are a private organization. Call them at 910-763-6692.
The two groups work together for the benefit of the animals in the county.
ASU is located at 180 Division Drive. Division Drive runs from Castle Hayne Road to 23rd Street just north of the entrance to the airport.